Jasper Johns, “0 through 9” (1960, oil on canvas), 72 1/2 × 54 inches, private collection.
“I make what it pleases me to make, I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world,” said Jasper Johns in an interview with Newsweek from March 1958. “I don’t think that’s a painter’s business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason. I intuitively paint flags.” Over six decades later, the contemporary artist is famed for the dozens of interpretations he has created of the American flag. Many of these career-defining works will be on view during Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror Sept. 29 to Feb. 13, 2022, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (philamuseum.org). But wait—there’s a twist. This lifetime retrospective, featuring nearly 500 works including some that are on view for the first time, is one exhibition simultaneously presented in two major venues. In an unprecedented collaboration that was originally scheduled for 2020, New York’s Whitney Museum of Art and the Art Museum will jointly offer the most comprehensive presentation of Johns’ work to date. “Given the crucial place that Jasper Johns holds in the art of our time, this collaboration enables our two museums, together, to examine the artist’s vision in all its multiplicity and depth,” says Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Suzanne Valadon, “Seated Woman Holding an Apple” (1919), private collection, Miami.
From armor worn by samurai warriors to a satin opera robe from 19th century China, the Penn Museum (penn.museum) reaches into its vast archives to consider the vital role that clothing has played throughout history in The Stories We Wear, opening Sept. 25. Some 250 objects chronicle 2,500 years of sartorial history and illustrate how, in many ways, fashion has long been about function, whether working, performing or engaging in battle. The Penn Museum rounded out the exhibit by bringing in more contemporary pieces with ties to famous Philadelphians from the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection at Drexel, including a Givenchy dress worn by Princess Grace of Monaco and a gown worn by contralto Marian Anderson. Lead curator Lauren Ristvet, whose favorite pieces in the exhibit center on ancient accessories, says that the way we dress communicates who we are and what we do. “Clothing doesn’t just express someone’s sense of style; it gives us a peek into the society they live in,” she says.
the outfit of an early 19th century Khalkha woman in Mongolia.
With Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel, the Barnes Foundation (barnesfoundation.org) charts the unconventional life and career of an overlooked French artist. The self-taught painter, who in the early days of her career worked as an art model and is thought to have posed for major works by Renoir, was the first self-taught woman to exhibit at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Through vividly imagined portraits and nudes, the majority of Valadon’s works consider the feminine experience. This further adds to the artist’s allure, as museum audiences typically see the female body depicted by male painters. Running Sept. 26 through Jan. 9, 2022, this is the first major show of Valadon’s work in the U.S. and is timed with the Barnes Art Ball, to be held Oct. 15 at the museum.
Photography by: 2021 JASPER JOHNS/VAGA AT ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK; 2021 ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK; PHOTO © SOTHEBY’S 2021; PENN MUSEUM